Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just a minor fart!

To follow up on my previous posts while we're still on the earthquake theme, I'll just pull another one while I'm at it. Sensational disaster scenarios aside, the last months Japan has been spared of any larger aftershocks/quakes and the frequency seem to revert back to normal, as it was before the March 11 disaster. So, in terms of daily life, quakes are no longer at the top of the mind, at least not for me and the Salaryman family or at work.

However, last week, for the first time in many months, there was one of those "earthquake imminent" alarms in the Nagano region (I became aware of it as I was watching the NHK live news at the time, the warning did not get sent to Tokyo mobile phones). As Nagano is a bit from Tokyo I wasn't really worried about our personal safety, but it's still quite some tension from the time of the alarm until the quake actually comes. The news anchor looked very nervous and they immediately switched to some live feed from a building in Nagano to capture the quake. Seconds passed where nothing happened and the anchor man only repeated that people in the Nagano area should seek cover, a few more seconds passed without any shaking at all until about one minute fom the alarm when a measly "2" on the 1-7 Japanese scale gently shook Nagano.

Ok, it's great that it wasn't a big quake or anything and I assume that the Japanese authorities prefer to err on the side of safety when issuing these alarms nowadays, but the feeling I get is the same one as when you suddenly feel your stomach moving; making a desperate rush to the nearest bathroom under fear of crapping in the pants, but when finally safe sitting on the toilet (assuming it's not a Flaschspüler as you are never safe on one of those) only letting out a fart. It's a mix of relief for the false alarm and annoyance of the emotional trauma and desperate rush I had to endure for nothing...

6 comments:

Chris said...

City folk with their city problems!!
Japanese people say diarrea way too easily...I just remembered (nice pic)

I always tell em' "Stomach trouble" is fine...especially if it's the class before my lunch ;)

canthushme said...

What happens when is the other way around? When you think is "just a fart" and up releasing toxic diarrhea... :P

loco said...

I love fart analogies...I always want to use them but then I get this voice in my head telling me it's distasteful (I hate that voice btw) But you handled it well, Richard Pryor-esque lol Well done. You've inspired me...I won't do a Howard Stern or anything but I'm definitely gonna give flatulence a chance to shine!

BiggerInJapan said...

I too, was forgetting about the quakie stuff. Until I saw that NHK documentary a week ago or so. A simulation of when the Big One hits Tokyo. The official report (?) of which being ordered to be put away by the government, because it would cause panic. An estimation of a scale 7 one 97% chance within the next thirty years.

I was not amused.

Evacomics said...

Oh I remember this one, I was watching the same NHK news channel and the anchorman kept on repeating that residents should take cover immediately but the camera showed nothing at all... I don't know if I should laugh or not... it was funny but at the same time a serious issue!

Mr. Salaryman said...

Chris - Yeah, I can see how diarrea is overused here in Japan, "stomach trouble" or "upset stomach" is generally all the information that most people need...

Canthushme - Well, then the emotions basically go the otherway around and trust me, I have some experience in the area

Loco - Wow, comparing this post with the great Richard Pryor is flattering indeed! One of the great comedians from a few decades ago (seems like it's only Bill Murray that's somewhat going strong still). But yeah, you should let it rip, so to speak!

BiJ - Yep, very hard to know whom to really believe in for stuff like that... But I guess I take the fatalistic approach to it and hope that luck will play in as I spend aprox. 50% of my time outside of central Tokyo...

Eva - Yeah, that must have been exactly the same thing I saw... Kinda of an anti-climax to the whole excitement they built up, but better than the alternative I guess.

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